Building a talent pool

How Smart Recruiters Build Talent Pools

Building a talent pool is widely recognised as the number one concern in global recruitment.  Over two thirds of today’s business leaders place greater priority on succession management than they did five years ago yet only 14% believe they are equipped to deal with future demands of business. [Source: CEB]  

Building a talent pool enables companies to respond quickly to their hiring needs but what is a talent pool exactly?  Ideally a talent pool is an instant source of potential candidates and referrals you can tap into the next time you have a key requirement for a position. It is literally a ‘pool’ of job seekers and potential candidates who are keen to explore career opportunities with your company as they arise.

As simple as it sounds in practice, we all know that it takes time, patience and perseverance and is a continual work-in-progress.  But here are a few tips to help you on your way:-

Make an early investment

Leading companies partner with colleges and universities, to identify future talent and ensure qualifications taught are relevant to the long-term business needs.  Employer sponsored programmes often give companies the first ‘right of employment’ for talented students and graduates who meet their business requirements. 

Use applicant tracking systems

Employers habitually use applicant tracking systems to reduce cost per hire and speed up the hiring process but don’t always realise that these systems can enhance their ability to create engaged talent pools.  Each time a company advertises a vacancy the rejected or ‘on hold’ candidates are often forgotten which means the next time a requirement arises, HR begins all over again with the recruitment process.  An effective applicant tracking system allows this potential talent to be categorised by key skills and experience, enabling employers to tap into this source when the time is right. 

Social recruiting

Social media is a great way of engaging talent through your online presence, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube (not forgetting Instagram, Pinterest and upcoming Vine).  Post a variety of content on each site to appeal to a broad range of potential candidates and once engaged, ensure consistent, regular posts. The key, of course, is to understand what your potential stars of the future are looking for which will become apparent as you build relationships and establish trust with your audience – and not to spread your resources too thin. 

Look for the close match

Don’t rule out ‘close match’ candidates who possess transferable skills and look beyond your typical geographical search areas when it comes to key vacancies.  Global mobility will play a major role in future talent acquisition.  Use your applicant tracking software to broaden your search rather than adhere rigidly to specific skill sets and requirements. 

Plan for the future

Creating a sustainable talent pool is ultimately about building relationships and engaging consistently with potential talent. It is the biggest challenge facing today’s employers.  Acquisition is a long-term solution, not a short term fix. Between 60 to 80% of leaders are promoted internally but it can take around ten years for that talent to rise to a senior level in an organisation.  The most successful companies plan their recruitment needs around five years ahead.  Begin today to create the lasting relationships essential to build an extensive talent pool to meet your future needs.

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